Michael Soto


I am a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota and a fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center for Global Change (ICGC). I have a MA in anthropology of development and social transformation from the University of Sussex, a MA in sociology from the University of Minnesota, and a BA in development in Latin America from Harvard University.

My PhD dissertation is on the role of groups and memory in reintegration in Colombia, with a comparative component on Northern Ireland.

With the support of the Grand Challenges Human Rights Lab, I spent the summer of 2017 in Belfast conducting research in collaboration with Dr. Joachim Savelsberg on associational groups, memories, and transitions to peace. While in Northern Ireland I was a Visiting Scholar at the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University.

During the summer of 2018, I conducted exploratory fieldwork in Colombia and was a visiting scholar at Centro de Estudios Sociales, Universidad Nacional.

I conducted my dissertation fieldwork in Colombia during the 2019-2020 academic year.


  • Social Networks
  • Space, Place, and Identity
  • Colombia
  • International development
  • Diversity and solidarity
  • Peacebuilding
  • Culture